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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | Oct. 2, 2023

‘Journey to the past’: 844th Communications Group opens 50-year-old time capsule

By Senior Airman Daekwon Stith | 316th Wing Public Affairs

On Sept. 28, the 844th Communications Group unearthed a time capsule sealed for a half-century by the base commander at the time, Air Force Col. K. I. Gunnarson. The time capsule, sealed on Sept. 18, 1973, revealed a treasure trove of memories and artifacts, offering a poignant glimpse into the past.

At the outset of the time capsule opening ceremony, Candice Ford, Exchange store manager, reminisced, "The Exchange has been here for 128 years, and for 50 of those years, we were located in this building. As a bit of a history geek myself, I'm excited to be opening this time capsule with you all today as we pass this building over to the 844th Communication Group."

The time capsule, a sturdy metal container, concealed a diverse array of items, including photographs, biographies, a menu from the Andrews AFB Officers' Club, and several microfilm photos showcasing a host of historically significant objects. Those who participated in creating this capsule aimed to preserve a snapshot of their lives and the culture of their era for the benefit of future generations of employees.

Delores White, a retired base worker, entertained the audience with lively stories as she reflected on her personal connection to the event and recognized familiar faces in old Commissary and Exchange photos, taking everyone on a journey down memory lane.

"Back in 1973, my husband was stationed here, and I was just a 20-year-old bagger at the Commissary when they buried the capsule," said White. "So, it's truly exciting to witness its long-awaited unveiling. I'm healthy, still active, and still a spring chicken, so that's just a bonus," she added with a chuckle.

The event drew members from the 844th CG, Exchange staff, and community members who shared their own recollections of the era when the time capsule was buried.

While the time capsule celebration provided a bridge to the past, it also marked a significant milestone for Joint Base Andrews. The old building where the time capsule had rested was left dormant but is set to be refurbished and transformed into a new walk-up help desk providing on-demand technical support to all Air Force customers at Joint Base Andrews. The new help desk, aptly named "Fix IT," will be run by the 844th CG.

“If you've ever experienced trying to get IT support, you know how difficult it can be," said Travis Johnson, the 844th Communications Group Facility Manager. "We do our best to make it easy, and with the Fix IT help desk, it’s just going to make that process even easier."

The walk-up service desk will introduce several advantages over traditional phone or email support. It will offer immediate assistance without the need for ticket submission or appointments, fostering face-to-face interactions between users and knowledgeable staff members. It will also streamline IT service delivery, preventing common issues from accumulating as backlog items.

Repurposing the previously unused Exchange 'Home Traditions' building not only minimizes construction costs and time but also enhances logistical operations and accessibility on the base. The refurbished space will feature modern technology and furniture, creating a comfortable environment for Fix IT users.

Fix IT's estimated completion date is January 2024.